The People’s Republic of China has committed 85 per cent of funds to refinance the completion of the Abuja-Kano and Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri railway projects.
According to a presidential spokesperson, Stanley Nwocha, President Xi Jinping made this pledge on Wednesday while responding to a request by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who Vice President Kasim Shettima represented at the ongoing Belt and Road Initiative Forum (BRI) in Beijing.
The development comes after the railway projects flagged off in 2021 stalled as China withdrew its funding.
However, after a meeting between both countries, Jinping renewed its commitment to refinancing the railway.
President Jinping promised that China would enhance political support and build cooperation in all fields, just as he appreciated Nigeria’s support of the One-China Policy.
In the area of security, President Jinping promised a continued crackdown on terrorists, assuring categorically that China is committed to peace in the Sahel region, more so that its long-standing military training and MoUs on joint exercises remain sacrosanct.
Vice President Shettima, who delivered the well-wishes of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, described the rail projects as vital to the president and people of Nigeria, saying it remained a legacy project that would further open up the nation’s economy, create jobs and boost trade and investments across the country.
Shettima said President Tinubu remains committed to a stronger Nigeria-China tie, adding that it was laden with respect, non-political interference and mutual international cooperation.
“Our relationship commenced about 50 years ago, precisely in 1971, and it has been upgraded to a comprehensive partnership, but we crave your indulgence, Your Excellency, to further upgrade this relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership because of the importance we attach to our relationship with China,” he said.